Inspiration / Opinion

Love letters to yourself

We’ve all got projects that got away from us. Take the featured image on this post, for example. In a burst of creativity, I set myself the challenge of selling socks…

And what did I do with the campaign once I’d specced it, comped it and sat back happy?

Consigned it to the idea bank for later use.

So was it a waste of time?

No, it wasn’t.

Sure, it didn’t land me a job, get me noticed or do anything other than stretch the little grey cells for a while.

But now, years later looking back, the campaign (and all of the brother/sister campaigns that reside in my varied notebooks) inspires me.

Not to create a copy. Not to remix that idea into something that I can pass off as new.

But the images, campaigns and thought processes behind each image link me back to an amazing outpouring of creativity. One of the golden moments that we all have where things flow as they’re meant to and anything is truly possible.

And on the down days, the days when the desk seems like a prison cell, I can look back at those works and get re-energised.

They link me back to that time and, in that linking, bring some of that amazing moment into the present.

My advice is don’t throw anything away.

Keep those old notebooks, pen sketches, half-completed comps and random scribbles.

Because when the going gets tough – as it will do – and you’re sitting at your desk devoid of ideas or creative thoughts on a cold, miserable Friday afternoon at the end of the week from hell, the body of work that you’ve amassed will inspire you.

In ‘Everybody’s Free (To Wear Sunscreen)’, the lyric urges you to keep your old love letters.

Perhaps those pieces of work hidden in drawers, on servers and on the back of half-forgotten paper napkins, are love letters to yourself – you should treat them as such…

Please note – the featured image on this post was comped many years ago. As such, I have no idea where the source photo was from. If the image is yours and you object to me using it here to illustrate my thinking, please tell me and I’ll happily substitute it for something else.


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